WASHINGTON, D.C. (KMTV) — There's new hope that a life-saving medicine used by around 34 million Americans will soon come down in price.
The US House of Representatives passed the Affordable Insulin Now Act by a vote of 232 to 193. The bill would cap the cost of insulin for insured people with diabetes at $35 a month.
The price for insulin has continued to rise in the US, with some paying around $1,000 a month.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Americans are paying more than eight times the price for insulin compared to similar high-income nations.
"I heard story after story about families who either had to make the decision to pay the electricity bill or take their full vial of insulin on a regular basis,” Iowa Congresswoman Rep. Cindy Axne said. “I can tell you that's not just a one off, it's across the board in states like Iowa and many other places in this country where people just cannot afford their insulin."
According to the American Diabetes Association, one in four Americans who rely on insulin have rationed or skipped doses of the lifesaving medication due to the high cost.
"We cannot have people who can only take part of their medicine. That's the saddest thing I could possibly hear,” Axne said. “Obviously, it makes them sicker, it reduces their life span, it's the worst thing we should be doing in this country when it comes to prescription drugs - capping people out from being able to afford what they need."
Axne says her and other supporters of the bill are now shifting focus to getting more people insured and on ACA (Affordable Care Act) and pushing to make other prescription drugs more affordable.
Of course this bill must pass the senate as well. Every democrat voted yes on the bill, while only 12 republicans did the same.
Axne says because it's only one drug, and one that so many need, she feels good about it passing through the senate as well.